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Old 10-14-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Look for a new man in Big Ben return

Look for a new man in Big Ben return

Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda free, honest and unpredictable. You can e-mail Jason or follow him on Twitter.

Here are your Week 6 NFL Truths:

10. The suspension and humbling of Ben Roethlisberger might be the worst thing that ever happened to Pittsburgh opponents.

Stripped of his captaincy, forced to self-evaluate and mature, Roethlisberger now has a real opportunity to be universally respected inside the Steelers locker room.

It's no secret that before the suspension many of Roethlisberger's teammates, particularly Hines Ward, tolerated Big Ben solely because of his talent. Roethlisberger's arrogance and immaturity turned off a good portion of the Steelers locker room.

Now you get the sense his teammates love him. Roethlisberger handled his suspension beautifully. Taking advice from ESPN's Merrill Hoge, a former Steeler, Big Ben has reinvented himself as the NFL player most appreciative of his opportunity to play on Sundays.

I half expect Big Ben to do the Ray Lewis pre-game dance before the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game on Sunday. Roethlisberger now reminds me of Lewis, the Baltimore linebacker who almost lost his freedom and career because of double-murder allegations.

Lewis had to make significant personal adjustments after avoiding a murder trial. He threw himself into football and became Ray-ven Lewis, the most respected player in the league. It's not surprising that Lewis and Roethlisberger are now friends.

The problem for Lewis and the rest of the league's non-Steelers is that a focused and beloved Roethlisberger could make the Steelers totally unbeatable.

With Roethlisberger in the lineup, the 2010 Steelers are potentially as good as any team we've seen in the free-agent, salary-cap era. I don't see a flaw. Their defense is dominant. Their offense can run the ball. They have solid special teams. Mike Tomlin is a young Bill Cowher. Their lone weakness was the passing game and pass protection. Big Ben cures both of those problems.

A lack of locker-room chemistry was the last hope for Pittsburgh opponents. But it sounds like all of the Steelers understand how much they need Roethlisberger and they are rallying around Big Ben.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Steelers won the rest of their games, and we ended the season debating whether their 15-1 campaign was superior to New England's 16-0 2007 season.

(Rest of the article is not about the Steelers. - mesa)
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Look for a new man in Big Ben return

WOW they forgot to mention, able to leap a tall building in a single bound.

Might as well dress em in skirts!
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Look for a new man in Big Ben return

While I would be surprised if they won the rest of their games it would not totally shock me. His points are generally well made though. The value Ben brings to the team on the field can hardly be overstated. A lot of the would be analysts have been quick to forget that he is unquestionably one of the top five quarterbacks in the league. Provided they stay reasonably healthy, I too expect BIG things from this team the remainder of the season.
"The nature of a man who has a competitive spirit will be to inevitably live a life which involves that man overcoming obstacles. But the sport of football is too physically and emotionally difficult to play simply for money or success. Personally, I have been inspired by God."

- Troy Polamalu, Media Day at Super Bowl XL
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Look for a new man in Big Ben return

Ah, I don't think this guy has been watching the games very closely. There are some definite weaknesses in the Steelers game. They can be exploited in the secondary when in the prevent. They also struggle to get pressures on the QB without doing anything exotic. I am still not convinced that the special team coverage issue has been fixed as there have been a couple of scary returns this year. Return wise, Randle El is awful. Reed could be a concern too. The predictability of Arians offense also has to be accounted for. Ben is great and all but he's still got to do what BA tells him to do which, at times, is totally inane. They are also without a Super Bowl MVP receiver now. For some reason, the pundits completely ignore this. I imagine that there might be some kind of adjustment period for Ben without Holmes.

Yes, there's much to like especially in regards to their fortitude but jeez Louise lets not get carried away here. It is still incredibly early in the season and there is a ton of football to be played.
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